Description: Competitive carwashes! A battle between two rival car manufacturers -- and their dealers! A battle between Team Thunder and Team Blaze! A battle between two women, in front of an Irishman they're both trying to impress!
==*== SLIGHTLY EARLIER ==*==
It's another sunny day in Sunshine City, and the light gleams off of the finely-cared-for car fleet that fills the lot of George Eddow Ford Dealership. One could hardly expect anything less than pristine when it comes to either brand new or used vehicles on display for sale; after all, when competition is fierce, it's the details that matter, and keeping the merchandise spotless and sparkling is just another way to show how much George Eddow cares about both the cars and his customers. Appearance is everything.
Constance Coalbridge can sympathize with the sentiment, which explains her reaction when the promotional plan that she's been signed up for is explained to her.
"You want me to wear /this/?"
Coco holds up the kiddie-sized tee-shirt dubiously between her two hands, one brow arching as she stares at it. She herself is wearing a purple halter bikini top and designer denim cutoffs with bikini straps cresting her hips from beneath them, her feet wrapped in black tape in anticipation of her upcoming match.
"Well, yeah! Obviously, your opponent's going to represent the competition - I've worked out a deal with my wife's uncle, who owns Sunset Cove Chevrolet, and we're gonna do a cross-promotion. So, you're playing for the home team," George Eddow says, his thumbs tucked in the pockets of his blue blazer.
"Chelsea FC is my home team," Coco points out as she turns the shirt around and eyes up the Ford logo on the front of it.
"Ha ha! God, I love cricket. It's like baseball, but British. Obviously, it woulda been nice to have the all-American gal representing us, but, well - it's in her name, right? Obviously, we can't have a Chevy playing for Team Ford. Imagine the blowback! This way, though, it's a win-win! And we'll kick it off with you two lovely ladies competing... to see who can wash the most customers' cars!"
George turns to gesture toward a detailer who's walked up with a set of fresh sponges in one hand and a bucket of water in the other.
"Oh, you've got to be..." Coco starts to say, her jaw going slack.
"It's all in the contract! But hey, if you wanna act like you came up with it yourself, I won't stop you! After all, you'll look great! What guy doesn't want a gal who can wash a car?" George says with a flash of white teeth. "Or girl, if that's what you prefer!"
Coco tightens her jaw and stares at the t-shirt for another moment before tugging it on.
She's not about to let a certain girl-next-door outshine her. Especially if a certain guy-next-pub is going to be hanging around...
==*== IN THE PRESENT ==*==
Coco wipes the back of an arm against her brow and blows hot air before smiling as one of the many customers who've shown up to have their car washed and watch the upcoming match takes a picture of her sponging the hood of his Mustang. She's been slathered in Factor 50 all afternoon, but managed to remain mostly dry otherwise. The tight cotton Ford t-shirt has been 'customised' to stretch the collar across her shoulders. A banner has been placed across the Camp Boulevard entrance that she's stood near to indicate that it's designated for Ford drivers, while the Harwell Road entrance has been designated for Chevrolet loyalists. The sign for the dealership has been arranged to read:
NFG'S COCO (FORD) VERSUS CHEVY (CHEVY)
WHO WILL BE THE QUEEN OF CLEAN?
FREE CAR WASHES 1PM-2PM
MATCH START 2PM
"I can't believe I've spent more time tidying than fighting since we got here," Coco murmurs under her breath as Captain Morgan poses on her shoulder for the camera, wearing a black Ford racing cap.
Chevy flashes a friendly wave to the selfie camera of a brand-new phone, her freckled face aglow with a smile. Behind her is a happy owner at the wheel of his freshly-washed wine-colored 2004 GMC Tahoe. "Somethin' like that?"
A moment later she steps away from the vehicle, which soon drives off. She grabs a towel from the table, and sips at a drink bottle as she looks across the lot to Coco's station. Despite a thorough slathering of suntan lotion, her shoulders are starting to redden -- but not her arms, or midriff, or her perfectly toned thighs. For Chevy has something Coco doesn't: a farmer's tan, due to long hours of wearing a t-shirt for her outdoor affairs.
Her attire isn't too much different from Coco's, just... less designer efforts. Chevy's wearing a cobalt blue bikini, along with torn-off denim shorts -- though, hers are cut from a pair of old jeans. And instead of a t-shirt that was provided to her, she's wearing something from her own wardrobe: a well-loved ribbed tank top with spaghetti straps. It's currently soaked, because if there's one thing Chevy doesn't fear any more, it's water.
==*== SLIGHTLY EARLIER ==*==
A 'Pretty Kitty' t-shirt drapes over the passenger seat of a 2023 Chevy Blazer. Lynyrd Skynrd can be heard crooning in the background. It's a nice new ride, with all the bells and whistles, and Chevy's at the driver's wheel, having just pulled the hem of the tank top down to her waist.
The tinny voice echoes from her car's speakerphone, the voice of a man with a slight New Jersey accent. "Don't do anything hasty, Chevelle..."
"Again? What am I payin' you for, anyway? All y'ever tell me is 'don't do anythin' hasty, Chevy...'"
"It's just that you are makin' a -killing- right now, Chevelle, and if you were to get out there and release a -statement-, that might start you rolling back down--"
"But it ain't -right-, Dev, an' I feel I oughta get out there an' set the record straight before anyone--"
"Now, Chevelle, Chevelle, Chevelle, sweetheart, you asked me what you were paying me for? It's this. It's talking you down from this cliff, keeping you from committing social media suicide. It's -sweet- that you want to tell people the real story about you, but I'm just saying, wait a little bit. You're hitched to a star right now, and I want it to keep lifting you up, and--"
Chevy huffs. "-- /Fine/. It still don't make sense but it's *fine*, Dev, I'll keep my yap shut for now."
There is a pause on the other end of the line. "You're an angel, Chevelle. Don't ever change!"
"Yuh huh. Bye Dev."
Running her fingers through reddish-brown locks, she kills the engine, reaches over and grabs a bottle of SPF 50, and slides her way out of the vehicle, before making her way across the lot.
==*== IN THE PRESENT ==*==
"Well, it's about time," comments Chevy, turning to blast her two buckets full of lukewarm hose water. She considers running the towel through her hair, but decides against it; after the past hour of washing cars, she really can't be bothered. She hoists her pole up onto a shoulder, grimacing as it presses into reddened skin (and leaves a bare white impression as it passes), and then loops the handles of her buckets into place.
"So where we doin' this?" she wonders aloud.
"That's a grand cup of tea, George" Hawksley compliments, draining the last of the hot and sweet liquid from the 'Ford' mug.
He's sitting next to the dealership owner, looking through the glass at the two women washing cars outside. He's thoroughly enjoying the display being put on by his favourite females in the New Fighting Generation.
There was no way he was going to miss this match today. Him and Chevy have been getting closer with their heart to heart on the city bus and their recent cooking class that resulted in a friendly flour fight. Things with Coco have been frosty at the Team Blaze dojo this past week, but he still considers her with warmth and there's no hard feelings on his end. If anything he finds her mardy moods a matter of amusement.
He's dressed in what he considers to be his Team Blaze uniform, which consists of a black short-sleeved t-shirt with the words 'Team Blaze' printed on it in orange lettering, a pair of plain black jogging pants with tapered ankles and some black leather sneakers with orange flames on the sides. There is a nod towards the Team Thunder competitor however, by the inclusion of a charm tied to one of the laces on his sneakers, depicting both a bucket and a ring of flames.
Placing his mug down on the glass coffee table in front of him, Hawksley then glances at his black mobile phone. The screen reads 1:59pm. It looks like it's about time.
"Thanks for the hospitality, George. I appreciate the effort in finding me some proper tea. Those ginger biscuits went down a treat too. I'll be going outside to watch the match now though. You're sure you're okay with me sitting on the hood of the car?"
Coco admittedly isn't sporting the Team Blaze colours today, and as much as she could claim that the reason is that she's apparently been co-opted as the poster girl for Team Ford (despite never having even ridden in a vehicle by the company), the truth is, she thinks that orange clashes terribly with her purple hair. With her relations with Hawksley waning frosty this week and Brian Storm regularly off-site to visit friends and family between matches, she hasn't managed to muster the team spirit needed to overcome such a fashion crime.
For her part, she does opt to towel off her body, despite not being terribly soaked in the first place. As she does, she looks toward Hawksley through the glass wall of the dealership, hoping to catch a glimpse of her fellow Blazer enviously admiring both her newly-developing work ethic and her freshly sun-kissed, devastatingly-hot bod, two things she's dedicated much of this week to honing (as much excuses to avoid a confrontation with Hawksley as to wow him on match day).
Instead, she catches him nodding at Chevy.
And isn't that the charm Chevy she gave him?
If looks could kill, someone would be calling emergency services right now.
Inside, George smiles at Hawksley. "Of course! In fact, as long as you don't mind my marketing assistant snapping a few shots while you watch the match, I can even do one better and let you rent the car you sit on free of charge for the rest of your stay in Sunshine. We've been making similar arrangements with the rest of the NFG fighters who've stopped in. Just remember to pick a Ford and not a Chevy!"
George winks as he offers a hand to shake.
Meanwhile, back outside, Coco tosses away her towel without taking her eyes off of the dealership window, inadvertently causing it to land on Captain Morgan as he sunbathes on the asphalt. She only looks away when she thinks that Hawksley might look back at her. Sniffing disdainfully, she starts strutting over toward where Chevy is finishing her shared shift, looking the farm girl up and down and silently envying her tan. Captain Morgan follows behind her, trailing the towel like a cape.
A bright, friendly smile crosses Coco's face.
"Hiya! Goodness, Chevy, you do suit that look. I bet you've slaughtered me as far as the washing competition goes. You're like a machine, with that watery power you've got. I'm well jell; all I can do is throw a few kicks and look pretty, and only one of those is useful when it comes to scrubbing cars."
Coco's not so sunburned as her counterpart, despite her pale complexion; she hasn't been suffering from SPF 50 attrition to wet conditions, and she's been very generous with her own sun cream breaks (usually choosing to take them when she suspects the customer on deck won't mind watching).
"I suppose the fight will be what really counts though, yeah? No reason we can't have fun with that, too! It's such a lovely day today."
"Over here, ladies!" George calls, having appeared from inside the building to stand next to a lineup of several new Ford cars parked across from a lineup of new Chevrolets; a clear delineation of sides. The area between would normally serve as customer parking, but has been cordoned off, a series of mats with alternating Ford and Chevrolet branding set out to partially mitigate the risks of the two ladies getting slammed directly into rock-studded asphalt.
"Shall we?" Coco says, flashing a sweet smile at Chevy before sauntering off toward the designated fighting area, pulling a pair of kickboxing gloves hanging from the ass pocket of her shorts loose and tugging them on one at a time as she goes, humming some song or other to herself.
Chevy's got to be very, very careful with her buckets of water. While she does enjoy the antics of certain actors in comedic movies, she'd rather not inflict any damage on the poor cars if she doesn't have to. Outside of that one bonus stage, of course...
As she walks, though, she is quick to spot a certain Mr Moore seated on the inside of the dealership. She'd love to hop in there and cool down for a moment, but with the end of her shift being smack-dab against the start time of her fight, there is, alas, no time. She settles for giving Hawksley a brief, cheerful, wave -- before Coco takes center stage, commencing with the informal part of the competition. The hayseed blinks back at her: "Oh, uh... yeah!"
She pauses. It might seem intentional, but it's not: the compliments caught her by surprise. "... Aww heck, that only helps with the rinsing. I'm sure you're better'n me at the scrubbin'!"
Chevy seems bewildered for a moment, as if she hadn't been prepared in advance for the words that just spilled from her mouth. Wincing, she adds, "But sure, you look pretty hot too!"
She looks over at George as he exits the building, but seems to find the words she was hunting for. "Oh! And I 'specially liked the way you stretched out for that one Edge driver. Some real, er, high fashion moves there! It almost looked like you'd slipped, but... you made it work!" She winks -- and points a finger-gun at Coco. Ka-pow!
And somewhere, there's a voice in the back of her mind, telling her she's going to regret this...
Luckily, George's appearance saves her from digging a deeper hole. Chevy takes a gulp of air, hoping to swallow her anxiety in the same fell swoop, and starts to march over to the indicated area. She doesn't have a song to hum -- but that'd be rude anyway. She just focuses on keeping her buckets from clanging into anything.
"Hey, Mr Eddow. Thanks for bein' so accomodating, I know, er..." She sucks in her breath, reconsidering that -current- train of thought. "... uh, I mean... you know, Buck -loved- the truck you loaned him! We got to ride all the way up to Mount Shasta! Handled like a champ..."
Regardless of George's response, it's probably a good reason for Chevy to quicken her pace, to get out in front of Coco. She between the Chevrolets and Fords, swinging her arms from one side to the other in a sort of stretch. "Sure! I'm game if you are!" she calls back, unseating the pole from her shoulder and swinging it around to the front. "The day ain't gettin' any younger!"
COMBATSYS: Chevy has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Coco has joined the fight here.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Coco 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Chevy
And with the stage set for the two to perform, Chevy winds back her staff -- and then steps forward, lashing it out in an attempt to entwine the bucket around Coco's wrist! If she manages that, Chevy would pull forward sharply, tug Coco off-balance, and heft her into an armbar toss!
"Oh lovely. I'll be parking my arse on that Race Red Mustang then" the Irishman decides with a cheery grin. "You're a true gent, George. I hear your daughter is a fan of the en eff gee too. I'll be sure to sign something for her, as well as your people taking the pics."
He shakes the man's hand firmly and then makes his way outside, the heat hitting him once he's out of air con range. The weather is kinder to his skin than some Irishmen. He's naturally tanned like his pa's side of the family rather than porcelain pale like his green eyed mother. His pa said it was something to do with some Spanish fellas arriving in Southern Ireland back in the sixteenth century but he may have been having Hawksley on.
Spying the object of his desire in all its glory (The Mustang that is), he settles himself on top of it and slips on a pair of shades. There's not a designer logo on them but they suit his face shape and a lass back in Cork once said they made him look like a young Tom Cruise.
Reaching into the backpack he's brought with him, he pulls out a can of Guinness and cracks it open. It's not as good as the stuff back home but it does the job. Taking a long drink, he then lets out a satisfied sigh.
Life is looking good. He has a beer in his hand, a new set of wheels, the sun is shining and he's about to watch two beauties battle it out with a front row seat for the action.
It seems like the pre fight pleasantries are off to a friendly start, judging by the body language and smiles on display. He's under no illusion that this will continue once the match is under way however.
"Come on Coco! Come on Chevy! Give it your all!" he calls, before sticking his fingers in his mouth and blowing a loud whistling sound.
COMBATSYS: Coco blocks Chevy's Medium Throw.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Coco 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Chevy
"Oh, cheers, Chevy," Coco says with a smile as the auburn-haired girl rebounds her compliment.
"Oh, you mean when I was leaning over the hood to get the other side?" Coco says with only the slightest edge of uncertainty tinging her otherwise warm confidence. "That wasn't a slip so much as a bit of showmanship, really. And, you know, I'd spotted just a little bit that needed wiping, and I'm always up for a good stretch. I'm a big believer in yoga." She bends her legs this way and that in turn both to limber up and emphasize her point while replying to Chevy's finger-gun with a cagey wink.
The truth, of course, is that she'd thought she'd seen a certain Irish observer watching her work on the Edge and wanted to catch his eye, but it had turned out to be the Chevrolet dealer's son. Coco had simply resolved not to acknowledge the guy's existence for the rest of the afternoon.
"Great to hear!" George says with a smile at Chevy. "I hope you kids didn't go too far off-road! Anyway, I'll step back and let you two ladies go to work!"
Smiling, he steps away toward the sidelines, and as he passes by Coco, he murmurs, "Fifty bucks if you can manage to put a headlight out on the Camaro."
"Which one's the Camaro?" Coco wonders aloud at the departing Eddow Junior's back, before wondering internally why she should be bothered about fifty bucks, anyway. Don't people get tipped that much for carrying your luggage from the terminal door to the Lambo?
This question is still on Coco's mind as Chevy swings her pole around, aiming the bucket for Coco's arm. The British kickboxer is caught off-balance, her head swiftly returning to the game as she's tossed toward the ground. She manages to twist as she's thrown so that she hits the mat hip-first and diverts the momentum of her fall into a half-roll before finding her feet once more, her silver eyes meeting Chevy's with renewed focus as she starts to circle her opponent.
'Come on Coco!'
A half-smile tugs at the corner of Coco's lips at the sound of Hawksley's voice.
'Come on Chevy! Give it your all!'
The half-smile tightens into a nearly-flat line as Coco presses her tongue against her back teeth to bite back a scowl.
"Thanks, Lucky!" she sing-songs back in a pleasant tone as her hands tighten into fists and her guard comes up. Then, suddenly, she closes in, lunging into a sharp left elbow toward the farm girl's face followed by a duck into a hard right straight toward Chevy's ribs.
COMBATSYS: Chevy counters Fierce Punch from Coco with High Tide.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////////// ]
Coco 0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0 Chevy
"Oh, I see." Chevy hadn't thought Coco would have -remembered- that moment. In fact, if she hadn't (a) already been looking that way, and (b) heard the gentleman whose car she was washing utter some expletive to draw her eye, she probably wouldn't have noticed at all.
George gets a somewhat more wordy response, albeit accompanied by a light twitch to her left eyelash. "No, sir, stayed right on the path... "
She had wanted to follow that up with, '...like a four-by-four ought to,' though that remains unspoken. Not -just- out of common decency, but also because her blue eyes had already turned to follow the path of a certain Irishman. She frowns as he turns away from the General Motors offerings, but and as such, she inadvertently takes Coco's response at face value.
"Oh, it's the one in Rapid Blue that looks like a chiseled bar o' soap."
But then some things happened. And now, Chevy finds herself face-to-face with the flattened line of Coco's lips, with the melodic sound of 'Come on, Chevy!' in her ears. Spotting the patented Muay Thai approach, she takes a half step back, raising her pole to a near vertical. She might not know how much scowling Coco is hiding, but she knows body language when she sees it.
Pinning the end of her pole against the asphalt, she steps sideways as the elbow comes in, pivoting the staff sideways to swing it aside. The brief duck gives her a moment to step around -- such that when the hard right comes at her, she's a split-second out of harm's way.
That pole, though, is right next to Coco. And one trick Chevy has learned recently is that the water in the buckets isn't just a weight, but also a force multiplier. With the water in the buckets guiding her staff, Chevy's able to tuck Coco's right arm under her own. And with Miss Coalbridge pulled off-balance, Miss Beaumont applies a quick torque, via a forearm against her breastbone, to slam the Muay Thai practitioner's back to the pavement!
Stepping free with a twist, she swings her pole and buckets around with a fluorish. She calls over her shoulder, with a cheerful grin, "Thanks, Hawksley!"
Had Coco been the sort to study her opponents' match footage before facing them and less time arguing with podcasts about yoga, she might have been aware of the danger she was putting herself in with such bold opening aggression against Chevy Beaumont. None of the other fighters in the competition so far have truly punished her for her own overextensions - and it's a harsh lesson, as she finds herself entangled before being slammed down on her back on the mat.
As it turns out, the mats that have been provided do little more to hide the shape and texture of the asphalt beneath than her customised Isabelle Marant shorts do to hide the shape and texture of her bottom, their owners being equally focused on self-promotion over practicality.
"Bloody ow!" Coco complains as she finds herself staring at the sky, her head ringing with the violent contact it made with the made a moment before. "What's with all these weapons users, anyway?!"
She briefly considers whether she would have been allowed to bring the family elephant gun into her matches, considering the competition's seemingly-lax regulations. Obviously, she'd never use it on an actual elephant, but her opponents are humans, not cute animals, and the regulators are perfectly happy to have her assaulted with everything from broadswords to bucket poles.
Realising how fetching and confident Chevy is probably looking just now, Coco cancels her contemplations in favor of kipping back up to her feet and cracking her knuckles.
"Wow! You're really good at handling a pole, Chevy! Probably as good as Djamila!"
Coco smiles as she faces her opponent, her own hair slightly disheveled apart from her ponytail as her silver eyes take on an almost manic friendliness.
"Of course, I did /beat/ Djamila, but maybe I was just lucky!"
Coco cocks her head slightly to one side before suddenly surging in with a couple of fast leading jabs to try and set Chevy on the back foot before aiming to grab hold of the farm girl's sunburnt-looking upper arms in a clinch. Applying pressure if she succeeds with sadism that would assuredly be unintentional, she would aim to overpower Chevy and get a hand on the back of her neck before sweeping her violently down to the mat.
COMBATSYS: Coco successfully hits Chevy with Singapore Sling.
- Power hit! -
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////////// ]
Coco 0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0 Chevy
Chevy understands she's in more than one competition with Coco at the moment. If it weren't for the deluge of honest compliments from happy car-washing customers buoying her upwards, she might not have recognized the barbs hidden within Coco's compliments. Now though... it makes sense. -Especially- since Coco was just cursing at weapon users bare moments earlier.
Chevy just flashes a simple smile in return, raising her pole to a casual diagonal before herself. That smile continues unabated, even as Coco name-drops the person who bested her in the first round. And with Coco making it easier, she answers with: "Heh, maybe so..."
Chevy seems to be in control. But Miss Coalbridge's sudden spasm of motion is what proves how much the pole-wielder was truly paying attention -- as that little feint stirs her into strafing sideways a half-step. At that point, she's committed -- and the first jab forces her into an awkward backpedal. The second closes into her personal space, slamming past her pole into her shoulder. Shaken, Chevy's eyes go wide -- as her range of motion for swinging the staff is limited, she finds herself trapped for the followthrough. "Ngggh!" As her burnt arms are grabbed, she finds herself losing balance, leaving her at Coco's whim as she takes a quick spin to the the mats!
... Face-first was -not- how she expected to go. The trip was unsettling enough, but the sudden nosebleed is a second helping of injury. And the reversed Ford logo pressed into stark white relief into her freckled cheek will be something she -really- loathes when it gets memed by Coco's fanbase in a few hours.
It all happens in the blink of an eye -- and the violent momentum of the not-sadism has her bouncing right off the mat and rolling rapidly to one side -- the entire contents of both buckets splashing every which way. Chevy throws out her pole before her, using it as a grip to steady her spinning body as she gets her feet beneath her again. And her free hand snaps to her nose, pinching it shut to stem the blood flow.
Maybe the farm girl's not so fetching now. But she's at least trying to smile through it.
"Every fight's diff'rent though," comments Chevy, whipping the pole around in a one-handed spin. "Heck, maybe you can even keep your clothes on for this fight!"
Suddenly, she halts the spin, pulling the pole and its buckets backwards as if tugging on a large plunger. Which might seem lie a futile gesture in a fight between two brawlers...
The real threat, though, comes in the form of a few dozen squared columns of water that rise from the floor mats, that soon rapidly converge into a spinning helix of water. A watery snake that rises from the pavement, and surges at Coco from behind her left shoulder, aiming to cross-check her so fast it spins her about like a helicopter!
COMBATSYS: Coco dodges Chevy's Rinse Cycle.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////// ]
Coco 0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0 Chevy
Coco's drawn first blood. It's not a sight that's off putting to Hawksley in any way, as he'd assured the kickboxing Brit when she'd fretted about her face back in Southtown. To him it's just proof that the competitors are giving it their all, as he'd encouraged them to do at the start. It's the way he approaches his matches and when he looks at the two warrior women he sees two formidable fighters in the flow of a fight rather than which female's face is managing to stay the prettiest.
It's not only physically that Coco and Chevy are going for it though. Their body language and the subtle digs slyly slipped in behind smiles are strikes of a different kind.
Strike one - Coco casually compares Chevy to Djamila.
Strike two - Chevy calls out Coco on the tendency for her clothes to fall off.
He sits forward on the car, swigging from his can and contemplating who's gonna go for strike three.
The sight of Chevy coming back up with a bloodied nose draws Coco's stare, that smile that she's been sporting growing just a little as the farm girl pinches her nose. Something niggles at the back of her conscience, though. This is exactly the sort of thing that she had been trying to avoid since day one of the competition - after all, having the same thing happen to her would simply be ghastly.
But it's not happening to her yet, is it?
"So sorry," Coco apologizes as her expression turns more sympathetic as Chevy spins her stick. "You do suit red, though -"
Suddenly, the hiss of the serpentine surge of water reaches Coco's ear, and she swiftly sidesteps, only harmlessly splashed by stray splatter along her arm and t-shirt as the torrent rushes past her.
"Oh, there you go, making a mess again. I see your aim hasn't improved since the kitchen," she says with a tone that sounds more playful than it probably is, tilting her head.
"I could keep my clothes on, but really, I think you need this more than I do," she says as she grabs hold of the lower hem of her t-shirt and tugs it over her head in one swift motion, the stretched collar making ease of the casual disrobement as the purple halter bikini top and toned bod beneath are revealed. She slings the slightly-damp shirt around once before tossing it underhand at Chevy.
"There you go. See if that helps with the bleeding," she says magnanimously before suddenly stepping in and spinning around into a less-charitable low roundhouse aimed to put Chevy on her back!
COMBATSYS: Chevy blocks Coco's Light Kick.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////// ]
Coco 0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1 Chevy
In the back of her mind, Chevy hopes to make the match as entertaining as possible for Hawksley. Because she's -really- not liking that George Eddow guy and she's sure the feeling is mutual. Consciously, though, she needs to focus on Coco, who she also dislikes, and is actively signaling that the feeling is mutual.
The water streams right past Coco's evasion. Normally Chevy would be more upset with a near miss like this -- but as the serpentine column splits into two forks, refilling her buckets, she's somewhat okay with it. "Aww, honey, I aimed just fine. Just a little mist." It might sound a little funny, as she's still holding her nose, but Miss Beaumont seems to accept the tradeoff.
She paces sideways, giving her staff a little twirl to make sure the water is evenly distributed, as she watches her opponent. Knowing full well what sort of effect that might have on certain members of the audience.
"You're too kind!" she comments as a t-shirt is flung her way, With such a big hole, the garment unflaps quickly into a flag in mid-flight -- which -could- be distracting if Chevy weren't anticipating that. As she was, the hayseed rests the tip of her pole on the ground, bracing it and her leading leg against that roundhouse. It stings -- as strikes from a Thai kickboxer should -- but she faces it with grit teeth. In the process, though, water spills from the top bucket, threatening to make more of a mess for Coco...
If that were all, it might only be a small problem, as Miss Coalbridge is already dressed the part. But with Chevy's staff still right up against that kicking foot, Miss Beaumont pushes back sharply, hoping to catch hold of that foot before it can be retracted. And if she manages that, she'd use her hog-wrestling upper body strength to whip Coco's kicking leg upward -- and send her falling backward!
COMBATSYS: Coco blocks Chevy's Spout Toss.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////// ]
Coco 1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0 Chevy
But... while Coco's able to react, the spilt water takes on a life of its own -- lashing at her for an impactful chi-borne strike -- that feels more akin to a hard slap than a water balloon!
When it comes to these fights, Coco has usually struck as the sort of girl who doesn't know her own strength, oblivious to the brutality of her own style. She's been a restrained, defensive fighter. Any concussions as a result of her hammering a knee into someone's head over and over will have been unfortunate little 'whoopsies' in her mind.
Here, though, she's hitting like she means it. Ignoring the pain that burns in her own bones when she drives her fists or feet into Chevy.
The water splashes from Chevy's bucket, instantly coating Coco's hair with dripping moisture and leaving her body glistening in the sun with a nearly-blinding white glow. Her foot is caught in Chevy's grip, causing Coco to pull a tight-lipped face as she tries to wrench it loose. She doesn't fully succeed, but her newly-slippery leg does allow her to slip Chevy's grip in a more controlled tumble than the fighting farm girl may have hoped, and she hits the mat in a roll. Ending up on her back, she feels a wet slap between the curves of her chest, causing her to scrunch her lips and nose into a grimace.
"Oh, it's that kind of party, is it?" the girl mutters as she pushes off of the Chevrolet logo beneath her and finds her stance once again.
"Don't think I'm bothered about getting a little wet, babes. I love a pool party as much as anyone! And I'm sure /Hawksley/ won't mind, either!"
Closing in once again, Coco swings a swift body blow, trying to sneak it past the pole to strike Chevy vindictively in the ribs.
COMBATSYS: Coco successfully hits Chevy with Medium Punch.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////// ]
Coco 1/------=/=======|=======\-------\0 Chevy
Hawksley doesn't mind either of the women getting wet. It makes for an entertaining match and he's not immune to the eye candy on show.
"Carry on, lasses. I'd join you if it weren't against the rules." He could happily go for a pool party himself right about now.
Several spectators surround the car he's sitting on, a lot of them also male. Phones are snapping away as they take candid pictures of Coco and Chevy, trying to capture the most revealing angles.
"Are you dating both of them?" a middle aged man asks, as he recognises the Blaze brawler. "I've been listening to Tom and Lou and they seem to think so. Which one's your favourite?"
Turning his dark head to look at his interrogator, the Irishman stares him in the eyes. "Do I look like someone who would kiss and tell? Why don't you feck off, fella and get a life of your own?"
George Eddow, who's standing within earshot frowns and hurries over to the foul mouthed fighter.
"Mister Moore. Would you mind watching your language? At least while you're sitting on the Mustang."
Chevy doesn't really give a whole lot of thought to how her actions might be perceived. She generally tries to do the right thing; the fact that her fans show their appreciation for that is secondary at best.
"Huh?" asks Chevy, guilelessly. She's been able to keep up with the Brit's running commentary for the most part, but that particular one escapes her notice. The hayseed sweeps her staff around slowly, letting half the fluid from one bucket splash into the other. "... Oh, that..."
Miss Beaumont misreads the flow of combat though -- and while she recognizes the punch for what it is, her tardiness gets her slugged in the ribs. A grunt of pain slips out through gritted teeth as she skids backwards on the rubber mats.
"... Ow... geez. Yeah... I mean, -sure-, when the sun's up an' all..." Chevy keeps backing up, though, easing towards the Chevrolet side of the fighting grounds. One eye squints shut from the pain, though her nose has thankfully quit bleeding. She keeps one hand extended forward as she twirls her pole behind her. The water in the area starts to tremble, as if from a slight whirlwind.
The farm girl cracks a smile. "But is it just me, or is the dojo a little lonely at nighttime?"
The spilt water stirs again. Chevy's plastic water bottle tips over -- and cracks a hole in the side on the asphalt.
"Almost like he's slipping out to spend time with another love?"
Suddenly, -all- of the loose water in the nearby area begins to skate along the ground, racing towards Chevy as if she were a powerful electromagnet, attracted by the spinning of her staff. She may have been running half-empty -- but she's going to have more water than she'll be able to carry in just a few moments...
COMBATSYS: Chevy gets ready to turn the tide!
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////// ]
Coco 1/------=/=======|=======\===----\1 Chevy
Once again, Coco can see the pain on Chevy's face as a direct result of her gloved fist. And once again, that expression causes the wrong reaction in Coco. She doesn't feel empathy tugging at her heartstrings, the way she would if she were watching some poor rabbit being swallowed by a snake in a David Attenborough documentary.
If Chevy is the rabbit, she's starting to feel more like the snake.
The cobra smile can only last for so long, though, as Chevy's words send her insides churning like the water that's flowing around the aquamancer's dousing rod.
Suddenly, there's a red heat in Coco's cheeks at the insinuation, her fists tightening in guard as her eyes narrow.
"I don't even know what you're trying to imply is going on with me and... and whoever it is you're on about!" Coco cries out. "But if it were true, all it would go to show is that you've still got the knack for taking swine for a roll in the muck!"
Anger overwhelms any trepidation she might have had at approaching Chevy as the water coalesces around her weapon, and Coco runs forward, leaping as she does to aim a jumping roundhouse at the rival fighter's upper body!
COMBATSYS: Chevy blocks Coco's Diving Kick.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////// ]
Coco 1/-----==/=======|=======\======-\1 Chevy
Rivulets of water continue to converge upon Chevy's location. A thin waterspout funnel forms behind her, twisting and thrashing about until it snaps into a slightly curved column of water, channeling up from the asphalt, and swirling around into a huge, turbulent gyre of water. Far too much water to fit into the buckets, at this point...
Just forward of that center of rotation, the rabbit flashes a look of perplexed concern back at the ferocious predator. For while she may not have made much sense in an overt sense... she seems to have accomplished her goal of goading Coco into action. Her pole might be in use at the moment, but that doesn't preclude her from throwing her shoulder into the blow, applying brute force to brute force to deaden the impact of the roundhouse kick.
Chevy barks out a scoff. "W-wow, that won't s'posed to get you -angry-... Gosh, I was just askin' how you'd -been- over the last week..."
A glance is spared to look towards Hawksley. Just a tiny little glance, checking his position, as the staggered hydromancer pivots to square up with her roundhouse-kicking opponent.
"... with everyone at the -pub- or visiting -family- or whatnot..." A look of true concern washes over the redhead's freckled features.
But this is, after all, a battle of wills. The rushing water roars behind Miss Beaumont. And then, as she takes one sharp step to the side, Chevy halts the staff's spin, slicing the gyre into halves. The first high-pressure blast thunders towards Coco; an instant later, its twin joins in the fracas, the merged flow -doubling- in speed! The fused deluge threatens to bowl Coco backwards, not into either a GM car -or- a Ford -- which ought to keep -both- the sponsors happy -- but perfectly aligned with the aisle running between them...!
Chevy asks, shouting over the water's roar, "... So what did you -think- I'd meant?"
COMBATSYS: Coco endures Chevy's Gulf Stream.
[ \\\\\\\\\ < > /////////// ]
Coco 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0 Chevy
As well as the incorrigible Hawksley there is another familiar face in the crowd, albeit... it's understandable if nobody has noticed. Buck had warned Ichika that this was some Taiyo transfer student's home ground, and the last thing Ichika wanted to do was bring Southtown school rivalry to America. Nor did she really want to risk distracting Chevy from the fight. She knows first-hand how difficult it can be to maintain focus when you're performing in front of people you care about... and she's going to have enough of that with Hawksley.
So the girl is wearing a loose grey hoodie, her P.E. tracksuit bottoms, sneakers, and she's kept the hood up. The long sports bag on her back has annoyed more than a few of her fellow observers as it has repeatedly gotten right in their way, but so far the grumbling it has caused hasn't threatened to spill over into a secondary brawl.
And as the fight has gone on, the tiny girl in a hoodie has grown more and more tense. Winding like a spring with every blow scored against her friend; both physical and emotional. It's all she can do to stop herself from shouting - ESPECIALLY with the comparison to Djamila - but she reins herself in... until Chevy demonstrates just how far she has come.
The hood falls back as those bright blue eyes take in the impossible jets. Chevy's technique is almost unrecognisable compared to their duel in the gym. A whole new level. There, she definitely HAD been limited by what she brought with her. But that kind of speed and power. It was beautiful to behold. She can't keep quiet any more; the girl's voice practically explodes out of the crowd as she jumps up, pumping her fist.
"AMAZING! Chevy!! YES!!! Show them what Team Thunder's Strongest can do!"
... and she'd been doing so well trying to keep the pressure off ...
Roundhouse rebounding off of Chevy's shoulder, Coco lands on her feet, a scattering of droplets fleeing her figure to join the torrent that's gathering under her rival's command. She scowls as Chevy spouts more mindgames at her. It's becoming clear that Chevy is playing the same game that she dealt herself into since the start of this meeting. She hadn't expected it from the Miss American Pie she took the girl for. Perhaps she's not as wholesome as Coco had thought. She's now seeming less of a rabbit and more of a mongoose. Coco had thought taking the low road would give her the advantage; instead, it's turned into a game of chicken.
"Don't try and gaslight me, you ginger -" she starts to say, but her words are drowned out by the sound of the deluge surging toward her. Her eyes scrunch shut as the water rushes over her, whipping her hair loose of its ponytail to blow back from her face. The pummeling flow blasts her backward, her feet sliding along the mat; she makes a blind grab for something to grasp onto, her fingers finding the grill of a blue soap bar-shaped automobile. Steadying herself with a desperate grip, she stands against the torrential onslaught, the spray enveloping her in a sparkling mist. Though it's an unpleasant experience for Constance - the internal effect of essentially having a firehose turned on her is rather sickening and disorienting - it's a rather spectacular show for onlookers, as the pale-skinned pugilist is thoroughly drenched, her posh appearance devolving rapidly into a more natural beauty as the droplets in the air split the sunlight into prismatic rainbow hues around her as the glistening contents of her bikini top bounce with the waves of impact.
When it finally subsides, she's left dripping from head to toe, panting for air as she wipes moisture from her face and brushes her slick bangs back from her eyes with one hand. Her soaked clothing clings even tighter to her curves. Having held her footing in spite of the battering her guts and head have taken, she turns to look toward Hawksley, and smiles slyly before winking.
Fortunately, she had the foresight to wear waterproof makeup to this particular appearance.
Also fortunately, her partying background means she has plenty of practice hiding the need to throw up until a more opportune moment.
Snapping her head back toward Chevy with a motion that whips the wet tendrils of her hair around, Coco smiles, back in her friendly mood.
"Right. Let's get sexy, shall we?"
With reinvigorated enthusiasm, channelling the anger inside into controlled energy, Coco charges forward toward Chevy, her feet flying across the slippery mat before launching her toward her opponent, aiming to wrap her slick thighs around the farm girl's waist and trap her daisies-to-dukes. Should she succeed, she'll throw herself backward, flipping through the air to try and slam Chevy onto the mat beneath her.
Thus straddling her foe, the sopping, shirtless slugger would use the advantageous position to start heedlessly raining down punches and elbow shots toward Chevy's face and upper body. After all, words may hurt, but getting punched in the face hurts more.
COMBATSYS: Chevy fails to counter S.O.T.B. from Coco with King Tide.
~~ Alluring Hit! ~~
[ \\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Chevy can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\ <
Water always wants to flow downhill. Any schoolkid knows this. In science class it's taught that water will happily flow uphill so long as its eventual goal is to go further downhill from where it started. Water is... greedy, slothful. And it just wants to be left alone. It's just against the nature of water to flow uphill.
So any schoolkid would see a powerful stream of water run smack-dab into Coco, and just assume, yes, this water's just going to splash away and it might, you know, fall. Because that's just what water does. And that'd be a completely reasonable guess if one hadn't seen what Chevy had literally done moments prior.
Fighting isn't... -fully- in Chevy's nature yet. She's still new to the sport, and still getting used to the notion of fighting in front of an audience. She knows people are -there-, but, locked in the throes of hand-to-hand combat, everything is just a blur to her. So she can see the cars -- but they feel distant, relegated to the background. She can hear people shouting, but it just reduces down to white noise, for the most part. Chevy's finding out what it -means- to be a fighter, now -- and that means tuning out everything else. Just her... the opponent... and in her case, the water.
Though. She does hear the familiar voice of her dear friend Ichika. And she smiles. Team Thunder's 'strongest.' She resolves to do her best to live up to that little bluff.
But... right, let's get sexy, shall we? The freckled redhead just flashes her girl-next-door smile in return. "Oh, is... /that/ what you call it?" Chevy may not have anywhere -near- the same level of anger and frustration that Coco seems to be going through, but she's seen the type before. And she's had to deal with her fair share of catfights before. Even if she may be a little... rusty.
Having a jealous rival fling herself at her feet-first, though? That's new. But it does align somewhat with the way in which Chevy had planned to deal with the matter, as she draws her fists up for a bare-knuckled brawl -- and, for the moment, letting her staff and buckets drop to the mat beside her. So that takes 'weapon use' out of the list of potential grievances for the next exchange.
Coco's legs aim for her waist. And Chevy aims to get between the pincer attack, grabbing tenuous hold of Coco's shoulders. She manages to grab hold, to some extent. And for one glorious, thrilling moment, Miss Beaumont finds herself nose-to-nose with Miss Coalbridge.
"I mean, you seem a bit fuller than last time I saw you..."
Shoulder and arm muscles tense. Abdominal muscles strain. The battle of wills is fierce. But at a critical moment, Chevy's right palm slips off of the against the soaked and SPF-50'd shoulder of her rival. And -because- of the way her palm slips...
It looks more as if Chevy tried to -slap- Coco. Instead of the real motion, of trying to twist her clockwise to the mat.
With that critical failure, Constance Coalbridge's superior grappling skill wins the exchange. Chevy finds her feet leaving the ground -- and the straight lines of Camaro and Mustang grills twist into blurry circles.
*WHAM* Chevy hits the ground with a loud grunt, her skin squeaking against the rubber mats. If that were all... she might have been fine, as she finds herself still loosely holding onto Coco's other shoulder.
That hold is knocked loose with the first of a raging torrent of punches and elbow shots. Chevy is completely at the mercy of Coco -- and there would not seem to be much of that at all. Her bloodied nose becomes the least of her worries as strike after strike hammers into her. And yet -- in defiance -- Chevy still bears a wispy smile through it all. As if she knows this was coming, somehow? Or just... isn't as invested in the fight as her opponent, perhaps?
Maybe she's just punch drunk. It's hard to say, as her head lolls back from the last of the strikes. Reddish hair tumbles loose. Her swollen cheeks present a dazzling palette of red and purple hues. Her ribbed tank top now a ruddy tone, spattered with drops of water-soaked blood. Her ribcage heaves for breath -- but she makes no particular moves to resist, her arms hanging limply at her sides on the mat.
Chevy looks back up at Coco, one eye half swollen shut. And despite coughing out a glob of blood... she's smiling. It's in her nature, after all.
"Ha. I bet you didn't even leave him any of that stack cake..."
It's not in the nature of water to flow uphill. But somehow... a good deal of of the water Chevy had summoned earlier had found its way back to her. If Coco steps up too suddenly, to her right, she might find her foot sinking into a pool of standing water some two inches deep. Perhaps Team Thunder's 'strongest' could have done a little more, under the right circumstances.
When Coco takes the water blasts straight to the face, Ichika cheers even louder.
But. Coco stays standing. And that makes Ichika falter. A little concern creeps into her features, and then... then Coco does what Coco does.
Watching the Muay Thai Fighter crack Kenzo's helmet was something that had stayed with the young fighter. Watching her do pretty much the same thing to Chevy - if anything, even more brutally given the lack of helmet - makes her blood run cold. The cheering dies off completely and she can only stare with open-mouthed horror. Her assessment of Chevy has changed a lot over the time she's known her. Her assessment of Coco remains more or less the same. A whispered:
"She's, a monster."
Having spent herself of the necessary energy to keep trying to punch the smile off of Chevy's face, Coco finally stops swinging, stands up casually, and starts to wring her hair out, averting her eyes from Chevy's face to look toward Hawksley as the farm girl delivers one more verbal shot. She acts as if she hasn't even heard the comment as she finally flicks her hair out of her face once more.
"Is anyone going to ring the bell?" she asks with a light Chelsea lilt. Then, with sudden violence, she snaps a vicious football kick right into the side of Chevy's ribs. As officials suddenly lurch toward her with the intent of impeding any further violence, Coco goes wide-eyed and holds her hands up at waist level. "Oh, sorry! She was still talking, so I wasn't sure if we were still fighting."
As the bell rings, Coco unbuttons the front button of her waterlogged Isabel Marants, then bends down deep to slide them all the way down to her toes, fully revealing her purple thong bikini bottoms (and more besides). The pose puts her face close to Chevy's as she steps out of her shorts one foot at a time.
"And sorry, I didn't bother with the cakes. I prefer vegan desserts," she says in a catty tone. "I heard Zog loved them, though."
Then, straightening back up, she waves the denim shorts with one hand. "Sorry, not sure where my shirt ended up, but you can clean yourself off with these, if you like."
With that, she'll toss the soggy garments down toward Chevy's face before turning around and sauntering away toward the dealership, undoing the bands of her gloves as she walks.
Strangely, in what appears to be a display of sympathy, Captain Morgan the bearcat bolts out of the towel he's turned into a makeshift bed and comes scampering up to Chevy, sniffing around - though it appears he may simply be confused by the scent of his mistress' clothing.
George Eddow, for his part, was smiling at Coco's victory until the late kick - at which point his eyes go wide, and he turns to his assistant, who was about to approach Coco with a contract for a free car rental, signalling her with a flattened hand sweeping across his throat and instead urging other staff members to assist the official medical team.
Hawksley has been enjoying the show. Holding back on the cursing to keep hold of the Mustang and mostly keeping his mouthing off to a minium for a change, he's been on his best behaviour. Even when the girls make a game of trying to get his attention. Even when Coco suggests "Let's get sexy" to Chevy. There's so much he could say, but he holds back, especially after seeing Ichika is in the crowd.
"Good to see you, cailin" he greets her warmly. "It's been a while. Your girl is doing good." He tilts his head in the direction of Chevy. "They both are."
No sooner are the words out of his mouth than Coco brings down her pummeling of pain on the Team Thunder fighter. The display is brutal, causing the blood to flow from Chevy as she endures the battering. It looks like the purple haired posh girl has brought victory to Blaze again.
Hawksley is happy for her. It's points to his team after all. Sliding off the perfectly polished car, he starts to walk over to congratulate her and commiserate with Chevy, which puts him up close and personal for the cruel conclusion to the match.
"What the feck are you doing?" he snaps at Coco as she kicks out again. "That was fecking out of order. There's no need for you to be a bitch. You knew exactly what you were doing."
His dark eyes blaze with anger as she follows up by throwing her shorts in the redhead's bloody face. Even the sight of the Brit's bodacious bikini body does little to dampen the flames.
Bending down on the ground by the bearcat, he reaches out a hand to take hold of one of Chevy's. "It's alright. You'll get the help you need. I won't leave you till you're sorted and Ichika is here too."
"Yes..." Ichika responds to Hawksley, "They're both very impressive. Very impressive indeed."
But of course, musing on the skills involved can only last so long in the face of such unrelenting violence.
"She's already down!"
The dismayed cry of protest from the crowd is coupled with a sudden barging to the front and a, frankly, pretty impressive leap from Ichika as she tears her way towards her downed friend. Too late to stop the shorts. The sports bag flutters in her wake, and as Hawksley takes up position to comfort Chevy, that frees the schoolgirl up to deliver an even more dramatic rebuke than her teammate's.
The saya clatters to the ground a moment after Ichika hits it, and the blade is pointed right at Coco. All the girl's fear of the older fighter is forgotten in this moment. There is, instead, a frightening level of anger in those sapphire eyes.
No more shouting. Ichika pronounces Coco's name like a curse. The schoolgirl is embarrassingly red, and the tip of her katana is trembling.
"You have gone too far." Everything in her wants to attack the woman, but she's not... quite that far gone. If she did, she'd be disqualified from the competition for sure. Nevertheless, it is tempting. Does the competition really matter so much compared to avenging her friend?
... but Chevy wouldn't want her to do that. That chain, more than the others, is the one that holds her back.
"Understand this." She says, speaking surprisingly sharp English to *ensure* that there's no possibility of her being misunderstood. "When we fight. And we will. Everything you did to Chevy today, I will rain down on you ten times over. I will teach you regret. I swear it on my name as Ichika Kasumoto."
How is she going to make that happen? She's pretty sure *both* competitors are leagues beyond her current level. It simply isn't a credible threat.
But. That's a problem for future Ichika to worry about.
It didn't seem like Coco had even heard. Did she say it loud enough? Chevy laughs to herself, and for one brief moment, starts to rock onto one side. The battle's over -- and she's not -knocked out-, so that's that.
Then, Coco has something else to say, resulting in a furrowed brow from Chevy. "Wh-"
And then the foot hits- her. With one shoulder raised, the sudden hit causes her to jacknife over, curling her knees up to her chest as she lets out a whimper, shutting her eyes from the pain. Getting hit in the face repeatedly was something she was able to sustain. Adrenaline did her no favors here -- the heightened senses actually let her feel the particulars of the moment in excruciatingly vivid detail.
The throbbing pain persists, blood pounding in her ears. Her entire -world- is pain for what seems like an eternity. Catty words float past like whispers on the wind -- at the last of them, Chevy cracks one eye open.
Almost immediately, the pool behind Coco begins to bubble and surge.
The farm girl may be in a world of pain. But she's not so far gone that she can't react. The denim doesn't make it to her face; it's instead caught up by a forearm flung into their path.
A moment later, a rather loud splash would be heard from the pool.
She hears the voices of Hawksley and Ichika close to her, vague and muddling together, barely recognizable as speech over the tympanic thrum in her ears. Breathing itself is the conscious act for a good long while...
Until Captain Morgan appears. That little varmint. Chevy looks up at him, finally remembering that smile that, moments before, had been such a given. She doesn't say anything -- but just lowers the denim garment towards him.
It isn't until she hears Hawksley speak -directly- to her that she even realizes he was standing there, her shoulders shuddering with mild panic. Blinking both eyes open -- one more than the other, clearly, she reaches out for his hand.
And holds onto it tightly.
"... Thanks, you two." She grips Hawksley's hand tightly in hers. "I 'ppreciate it." Chevy flashes a woozy smile.
Her grip stays somewhat firm in his, as she closes one hand around her ribs. If she's to sit up, Hawksley would be the one doing the work. She seems fine with that.
But... oh yes. As Chevy's able to see Coco a bit more clearly... she'll remember this fight for a long time. Coco definitely gave it her ass.
Moments later, the water tension holding the pool together breaks. The accumualated begins to filtrate back into the grid-lined divots of the rubber mats.
As it turns out, Morgie does actually seem as concerned and curious about Chevy's state of being as the shorts, though he does take them in his teeth as if intending to fetch them back to their owner. Perhaps it's the congregation around the wounded warrior that keeps him from joining Coco on her journey.
Hawksley's outburst as she starts to walk away causes Coco to stop her steps, turning her head over her shoulder. She seems to consider his scathing rebuke for a long moment, silver eyes flitting askance before finding Hawksley's once again. Would she apologize for what she's done? Admit to losing herself in a moment of base anger? Act the fool?
Finally, her lips curve into an insincere smile.
"If she was going to insist on having the last laugh, I wanted to make sure she didn't enjoy it. Seemed like a fair compromise. I take it you won't be joining me for an 'afterparty' this time, then?"
Winking and throwing a look Chevy's way, she turns to carry on walking, not waiting for Hawksley's reply. She only gets a step or two further before she's intercepted by an armed schoolgirl. She stops, eyes widening for a moment as she looks down at the sword tip pointed at her.
"Gone too far?"
She follows the aim of the sword down to her bust, considering her glistening skin and the bikini she's wearing, then brings her eyes back up to Ichika and laughs as if in embarrassment.
"Oh, sorry! Was your dad watching this one, too?"
She looks toward the stands, and, failing to find Ichika's father after a cursory scan, instead gives a wave to the nearest camera. Turning back to Ichika, she adds, "I was just trying to be helpful. Guess I got carried away. Let the red out of your cheeks, I'm already on my way to put some clothes on."
If she's not further arrested in her course, she'll carry on walking toward the dealership, where there's a private bathroom waiting with everything she needs right now: a towel, a fresh change of designer clothes, and a toilet suitable for emptying the contents of her churning stomach into.
COMBATSYS: Coco takes no action.
[ \\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Coco has ended the fight here.
The looks Ichika gives Coco when she feigns innocence is utterly withering. Her sword wavers, and then the tip dips, and she exhales. Her eyes, though, remain locked on Coco's own until the older teenager moves to walk past her. A reflective part of her is surprised; the deliberate shot at her family would normally upset her deeply, but in the wake of the low blow and utter disrespect against her friend, it really doesn't register at all. A match thrown onto the raging bonfire in her heart.
"Your lies are as transparent as your outfits. I have said my piece. Remember it, and prepare."
It's definitely an interesting tableau when the pair do pass each other; Coco still looks utterly fantastic, all poise and somehow-perfect hair. Ichika looks like she's allergic to fashion, with her grey hoodie, orange tracksuit pants, and hair perfectly capable of devouring combs whole.
She kicks her saya up and stabs the katana into it, gives one last pained look to Chevy, and Hawksley, and gives a sharp nod of her head.
"Please look after my friend, Moore-san. I must go."
And then, tugging the hood back up into place, she does just that.
Log created on 12:04:36 07/13/2023 by Chevy, and last modified on 08:13:45 07/16/2023.